Posted by Elf Flame Friday, August 10, 2012
As someone who has done at least 75% of her research online, I am grateful to all those who spend their days indexing when they have those moments to spare. I think it's a vital job, and great for the whole Genealogical community.
Because of this, I have considered doing the same myself. But I have one problem with it.
I have stated before in this blog that I am not religious. I was raised in a non-religious household by a father who was also raised non-religious and a mother who was raised Christian (mostly Methodist, I believe). Despite that, I have feelings about spirituality being a very personal thing that should not be imposed on someone else by anyone unasked.
Which is my problem. The main way I know of indexing at the moment (I am sure there are others, but it is the most easily accessible and wide-reaching group) is the Family Search site. But because they are funded and run by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, I know that some, if not all of those records will be used to baptize more people after their deaths.
While I may not personally be religious, I have many ancestors who were. Extremely so, in fact. One whole branch of my tree is Jewish, and above all, I don't want them re-baptized, regardless of what it might actually mean in the hereafter. None of us really know that, so how can anyone know what might cause someone problems there, or if it would make any difference to anyone here for doing so. I suppose I could see it as another myth that helps people get through their own lives, but to me it seems rude, presumptuous, and downright uncaring of those people who felt very strongly about the religion they were in at the time of their deaths. Which is probably a good percentage of my ancestors.
And if I don't want it to happen to my ancestors, I'm quite sure others don't want it to happen to theirs.
Again, it's a great resource, and I use it myself. Which is why I continue to struggle with the idea of indexing. I just don't know how to get past the idea of what it will be used for. Because otherwise, it seems like it would be a great way to contribute to the community at large.
But as it is now, I can't morally help. Not if it means it will be used in a way I consider hurtful and cruel.